Generation Indoctrination: Inside the roots of the trans movement
As the public become increasingly aware of what's happening to children in gender clinics, many are bewildered, asking: How did this happen so quickly?
While many social changes have occurred quickly in recent years, given shifts in politics and biomedical ethics, the philosophical roots of gender ideology that the world is experiencing today have a long history that has evolved over time, according to Dr. Abigail Favale, author of The Genesis of Gender: A Christian Theory a professor at the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame.
In the third installment of The Christian Post’s investigative podcast series “Generation Indoctrination: Inside the Transgender Battle,” Favale explained that much of what is now seen within the gender dogma of today can be traced back to the early 20th century. Two revolutions, the conceptual and the contraceptual, have indelibly shaped how people have thought about what it means to be male and female, particularly with the introduction of reproductive technologies such as hormonal birth control.
Regarding the conceptual revolution, Favale argues that the seeds of the gender revolution were sown in part by French existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, who authored The Second Sex in 1949.
“When she was writing, she does not even use the term gender because that was a linguistic term,” Favale told CP.
“But she introduces the idea that gender would soon come to name,” Favale added, noting that this theme emerges most pointedly in de Beauvoir's famous line, “One is not born, but rather, becomes a woman," distinguishing femaleness from womanhood.
Second-wave radical feminists — many of whom are among the most vocal opponents of transgender ideology and who often approvingly cite de Beauvoir — respond by saying that the feminist writer was speaking of female socialization and the cultural and societal expectations imposed on women as a whole.
Nowhere in her writing did she outright deny the material reality of biological sex, as trans activists do, feminists maintain. In addition to modern gender ideology, these same feminists strongly push back against other scourges that disproportionately harm women, such as pornography, prostitution and surrogacy, stances that coincide with small-o orthodox Christian ethics. When asked to respond to this contention, Favale concurred but reiterated that these ideas about gender have still evolved from this particular moment in history.
Another major figure who is arguably the godfather of the transgender movement is John Money, a psychologist originally from New Zealand who was a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. He made considerable waves in the 1960s with his published papers. Money experimented on human subjects, particularly on Canadian twin boys Brian and David Reimer.
Speaking of the experiments on the Reimer twins, Carla, a therapist from Loudoun County, Virginia, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, recounted how Money believed that babies were born gender neutral. He was the one who coined the phrase “gender identity” and believed that males could be raised as females, irrespective of their biology.
In the case of the Reimer twins, one of the boys, David (who was originally named Bruce), endured a botched circumcision and was, at Money’s advice, raised as a girl. David Reimer ultimately learned the truth of what happened to him, but the mental torment of what he had lived through was so overwhelming that he killed himself in 2004. David’s brother, Brian, died of a drug overdose.
In Carla’s counseling practice, she now sees many young people who are distressed about their sex. The shift was sudden, and she felt unprepared to see the sharp increase. As she researched the problem further, she discovered a troubling trend among youth, not only were they spending inordinate amounts of time on their phones and social media, but they had been inculcated with the language of mental health conditions and therapy.
“This generation has a rush to label and/or diagnose. And we’re doing it to kids at younger and younger [ages]. More and more, it’s becoming the norm that we construe normal feelings and label it as an illness, an abnormality or a disorder,” Carla said.
“People are calling kids as young as 11 pansexual, bi or probably gay before the child themself even knows,” she added.
Contemporary trans activism relies upon an especially radical notion of selfhood, the idea that the self is sovereign, according to Mary Rice Hasson, an attorney and scholar at The Ethics & Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. In the United States, she said, society arrived at a critical juncture approximately seven years ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in Obergefell v. Hodges.
“Once Obergefell came down in 2015, the deal that was struck between the transgender groups and the activists who were very much about queer theory was ‘Alright, we were backing you, now you’ve got same-sex marriage, it’s our turn. The T was added to the LGB because, in some respects, they were kept under wraps,” Hasson said.
“And that was one of the complaints of the transgender movement and the activists, that they felt like [they were] not embraced by the larger movement. They wanted to be front and center and have their agenda pushed forward. It was very much a tradeoff, very much a deal.”
Thus, to many, it seemed it flipped overnight from same-sex marriage fights to promoting trans ideology, but the gender identity activists had been preparing long before the landmark high court decision. Most alarming for Hasson is the way this ideology has infiltrated the public school system. The gender dogma is so pervasive and destructive that in 2018, she co-authored a book with Theresa Farnan urging parents to withdraw their children from public schools, Get Out Now: Why You Should Pull Your Child from Public School Before It's Too Late.
Also weighing in on the dark philosophical history of gender ideology are doctors Quentin Van Meter and Andre Van Mol, both of whom were featured in episode two of "Generation Indoctrination" to discuss the emerging medical scandal manifesting in transgender clinics and hospitals nationwide.
In the fourth episode, CP will talk with lawmakers and public policy experts on the front lines of these issues, addressing what can be done from a legal standpoint.
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